16-round season features new races and a Rennsport finale.
A new event at NOLA Motorsports Park, a return to Virginia International Raceway and the season finale during the Porsche Rennsport Reunion V at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca are among the highlights of the 2015 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama schedule.
The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) unveiled Dec. 9 an eight-venue, 16-round schedule for the series, one of 19 global Porsche 911 GT3 Cup one-make championships that provide thrilling action and groom drivers for future TUDOR United SportsCar Championship competition in North America or professional GT racing worldwide.
The series will run 12 of its 16 rounds during TUDOR Championship events.
“Last season established a new Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama series benchmark for competitive racing and record entry of Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race cars,” said Steven Sewell, senior series manager, IMSA Single Make Series. “Bringing this level of racing excitement to three new events in 2015 further demonstrates IMSA’s commitment to expand awareness of this premier championship.”
The season gets underway March 18-20 at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida, as part of the prestigious Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida race week.
NOLA new to series
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama competitors then will race at NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale, Louisiana, for the first time April 10-12 during the track’s inaugural INDYCAR event weekend. The facility, located about 15 miles from downtown New Orleans, features a 16-turn, 2.75-mile circuit.
Next are traditional event weekends, beginning June 25-27 at Watkins Glen International in the scenic Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, followed by the challenging Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, on July 9-12, and the classic Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, on Aug. 7-9.
The next new event on the 2015 schedule takes place Aug. 21-23 at Virginia International Raceway in Danville, Virginia. The series races at picturesque VIR for the first time since 2012, as a companion event to the TUDOR Championship.
Action continues Sept. 18-19 at the state-of-the-art Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, during the popular FIA World Endurance Championship-TUDOR United SportsCar Championship event weekend.
The season will end at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California, for the first time since 2009 with two rounds Oct. 9-11 during the Porsche Rennsport Reunion V. More than 1,000 Porsche vintage and current race cars will gather on the Monterey Peninsula to celebrate the manufacturer in a high-profile event that last took place in 2011.
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama will be one of the featured classes of competition at the Porsche Cars North America event, which draws tens of thousands of spectators and also features a Concours d’Elegance and other special activities.
'Growth is obvious'
"We have been pleased to see the continued growth of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama over the years, and that growth is obvious in the 2015 schedule,” said Jens Walther, president and CEO, Porsche Motorsport North America. “We return to the best circuits in North America and add three very exciting venues. The schedule should provide both excellent on-track action as well as inspire even greater interest in the series.
“To be part of the debut of the new NOLA circuit while also returning to one of the most traditional North American tracks, VIR, gives the competitors a unique balance. Perhaps, even more rewarding, and what we expect to be a major draw for our customers, will be the series' involvement in Rennsport Reunion V. Not only is Monterey a wonderful venue for the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars on which to compete, to be highlighted as part of such a prestigious event as the fifth iteration of Rennsport is a tremendous honor for Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA. All of us at Porsche are looking forward to the 2015 season."
Details about television and online video coverage of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama events will be announced soon.
The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama enters its 11th season as the one of the largest single-make Porsche Cup Challenge series in the world. The series produces intense, exciting competition for semi-professional and aspiring professional drivers in the world’s most produced and iconic race car, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
Racing is divided into two classes – Platinum Cup, featuring the 2014 and 2015 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, which is based on the current seventh, and current, generation of the street car, and Gold Cup, which is comprised of the previous iteration (model years 2010-2013) of the race car. A Masters Championship also is conducted in Platinum and Gold classes. Each class is awarded with its own podium at the end of every race and individual champion at the end of every season. Points are awarded by finish in class.
Developed by Porsche for one-make Cups worldwide, the latest version of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car is based on the street version of the current Porsche 911. The power unit featured in the new 911 GT3 Cup car was largely identical to the production engine of the 911 GT3 RS with the same output of 460 bhp and the same maximum engine speed of 8,500 rpm.
Tight competition on great circuits in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama has launched many drivers and teams to success in higher levels of professional sports car racing over the last decade. Among those talented drivers are 2012 Platinum Cup champion Sean Johnston, a full-time competitor in 2013-14 in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, and 2013 Platinum Cup champion Madison Snow, who completed a successful first GT Daytona season last season in the TUDOR Championship.
2015 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama Schedule
March 18-20 Sebring International Raceway, Sebring, Florida*
April 10-12 NOLA Motorsports Park, Avondale, Louisiana
June 25-27 Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, New York*
July 9-12 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Bowmanville, Ontario*
Aug. 7-9 Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin*
Aug. 21-23 Virginia International Raceway, Danville, Virginia*
Sept. 18-19 Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas*
Oct. 9-11 Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Monterey, California
* -- In conjunction with IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship events